B2B sales funnels: Why your website is a gold mine for sales
[UPDATED] This post was originally published on July 22, 2017.
The ever-changing B2B sales funnel poses a challenge for sales teams trying to maintain or increase productivity. Reps spend much of their days dealing with emails, updating CRMs, and making sales calls.
However, B2B sales teams often don't pay too much attention to the specifics of their company website, leaving the details like messaging and content to the marketing team. This may work for some reps to a degree, but neglecting how your prospects interact with the content on your website is a huge missed opportunity. Your company’s website is a treasure trove of intent data that can help you guide them through the sales funnel.
Intent data is information gathered about a prospect’s online behavior. It provides insight into that person’s interest and readiness to make a purchase. These signals can provide valuable context for a sales team to identify opportunities for better lead nurturing, resulting in a speedier sales process and higher-quality deals.
The B2B sales funnel needs more useful information
Sales is a very old profession that constantly evolves. Long ago, salespeople knocked on doors, then called prospective customers on the phone — but these days neither of those strategies is common, particularly for B2B sales. Now B2B sales focuses on collecting emails, usually in exchange for gated content, demos, or free trials.
The problem is that an email address isn’t enough information for sales teams to fully understand their sales leads or what those B2B buyers want from their sales reps.
In a 2021 B2B sales survey, Ironpaper found 44% of sales teams cited “more competition in the market” as a top concern. The second most cited sales concern (43%) was the changing needs of buyers when it comes to communication. In other words, sales teams are acutely aware that they need to change the way they interact with decision-makers.
But to solve this issue, they need better information. In particular, they need to know what their qualified leads are looking for in order to make the final decision to buy. In fact, in that same Ironpaper survey, 56% of sales reps said they had enough leads, but 40% said they faced challenges when it comes to “using content effectively throughout the buyer’s journey or re-engaging inactive leads.”
Identify high-fit companies before they even contact you
Thankfully, a prospect’s visitor history on your website can reveal a lot of information. With tools that help identify which companies are browsing your site (and what they're viewing), through reverse-IP lookup, you can identify key anonymous visitors with the potential to become new customers. For B2B sales teams, this superpower helps surface key intent signals from visitors that matter — target accounts, ideal customers, high-value prospects.
By de-anonymizing your site traffic and gathering intent data from your website visitors, your sales team can craft more effective messages and have deeper, more meaningful sales conversations tailoring their approach to what B2B buyers want.
If your potential customers spend a lot of time on FAQ pages, you know they have specific questions that need answering. And it’s probably better in that situation to reach out to them directly to see if you can answer their questions rather than just send them more white papers and data sheets. If they originally say they’re interested in Product A and keep viewing the page for Product B, you might offer more information on that product as well.
By simply paying attention to how people interact with your webpage, you can get lots of insight on what your customers want and need.
Once you see who’s stopping by and what pages they’re spending time on, you can assess who fits your ideal customer profile and follow up with them. With intent data, you’ll start relationships before your competitors do, improve the buying journey, and secure customers you wouldn’t have even known were interested without your site visitation data.
Prospective customers show you what they want with their online behavior
There’s nothing quite like interacting with a sales representative who knows exactly what you’re looking for. With intent data, not only can you discover new leads to your sales pipeline through your site, but you can also tailor your approach based on visitor behaviors — a surefire way to increase your success at moving them to the next stage of the funnel. Sales reps can streamline the buying process for prospects searching for specific solutions.
For example, multiple visitors from one of your ABM target accounts looks at your implementation docs and pricing page many times — an existing customer starts looking at a demo page for a product they haven't bought yet. These are prime opportunities to jump-start a constructive sales conversation, like sending an email to prospects from the target account explaining how fast your implementation process is, along with a customer story testifying how easy it is to get started.
Even when it comes to leads that have gone cold, website data can help you recapture accounts you thought you lost. If a potential customer suddenly stops responding, you have very little information that points to why they went quiet.
With website intent data, reps get notified when an account that's gone silent returns to your site, showing a rekindling of interest. This way, you’re not hounding someone that isn’t interested but rather waiting for the right moment in their decision-making process to restart a conversation. This sales intent data gives reps the chance to re-engage the account at an advantageous time.
Without visitor history on your site, you’re missing key insights into high-quality target accounts. This small bit of intent data can reduce the amount of back-and-forth communication required so that your leads can get the information they need more efficiently. This not only saves both of you time but also creates a stronger foundation for your relationship as prospects move through the funnel stages.
The more information we have, the better we can plan for and optimize our experiences. If your reps aren’t leveraging every bit of intent data-driven knowledge at their disposal, they are leaving money on the table.